Rick Perry: It's entirely possible that ISIS has already crossed the southern border

Via the Daily Signal. Easy prediction: This soundbite will inspire lots of scoffing and sneering without even a bare attempt at an argument on the merits for why he must be wrong.

“There’s the obvious great concern that because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be [crossing the border] — and I think there is a very real possibility that they may have already used that,” he said…

“We have no clear evidence of that but your common sense tells you when we’ve seen the number of criminal activities that have occurred — and I’m talking about the assaults, the rapes, the murders — by individuals who have come into this country illegally over the last five years, the idea that they would not be looking at [the border] … is not a good place to be,” he said.

He’s fearmongering! ISIS poses no direct threat to the U.S. (yet)! Is that right? Here’s Mike Morell, former deputy director of the CIA:

After explaining what he thought needed to be done to defeat the terrorists (more targeted strikes and better intelligence), he said that “if an ISIS member showed up in a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans I would not be surprised.”

“Over the long-term, I worry that this group could present a 9/11-style threat,” he added, noting the group presents both a short-term and long-term threat.

ISIS has every incentive to do it, too. Nothing would lift their prestige in the jihadiverse more than an attack on American soil. They have nothing to lose at this point by holding off either; quite rightly, we’re going to bomb them whether they do it or not. They have the motive and they most certainly have the means, flush with cash to pay traffickers handsomely for smuggling them across and well supplied with men who can melt into the U.S. population more easily than the average ISIS neckbeard. If you want to knock Perry for something, knock him for understating the threat: Why would ISIS send a jihadi to cross the border, where he might be caught, when they could put one with a British passport on a plane and have him waltz into the United States instead?

Two clips here, the second of which has Perry conspicuously calling for all military options against ISIS — hint hint — to remain on the table. That’ll help polish his hawkish credentials for the 2016 primaries, but I’m not sure how it would play in a general election. Although who are we kidding? Obama will have long since put American boots on the ground in Iraq himself by then.

Jazz Shaw Aug 17, 2022 11:01 AM ET